$10,000 Budget - What Would You Do? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 8 Old 01-11-10, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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$10,000 Budget - What Would You Do?

Hi All,

I am new to the Shack. I have an extra bedroom that I hope to turn into a great media room. Here are may goals:

- Spend 10k give or take and get the following:
- Great audio/video for music and movies
- Seating for 5-8
- If possible, a bit of sound deadening would be great to avoid waking the neighbors

What I have:

- A 52" LCD TV 1080p etc. brand new (I can use this or consider a new projector style of system???)
- PS3 for games and Blue Ray

What I assume I'll need:
- Projector or use my current TV. Thoughts?
- Speakers
- Woofer
- Amp
- Seating
- Sound Deadening?
- Cables and Miscellaneous.

I would like to keep my budget to no more than around $10,000 and preferrably less, though I am a bit of a lay person and am just not sure if my plan is realistic or not.

I have appointments with about 4 home theater people who are coming out to give me estimates and then I suppose I can either:

- use them to design it all
- use them to design the sound and simply buy the rest myself and finish the design on my own.
- do it all myself (not sure I'm tech-savvy enough to do it).

With all of that I submit to you the following questions:

- How would you allocate $10,000 or less to get the best bang for my buck if you were not-too-tech-savvy?
- Am I way over or under budget? Could I do this all for less? Or, do I need to spend much more?
- Any brands that are "high-end" that I should go with or avoid?
- Any other words of advice?
- What if one only had $5,000? Where would you cut the other $5000?

That is a lot - I appreciate any insight and will post some photos when I am done and will check back often.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-11-10, 05:20 PM
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Re: $10,000 Budget - What Would You Do?

First off, welcome to the Shack, NIFLIF!

As far as allocating funds, you could probably utilize about $1000 of your budget in sound treatment (Deadening and in-room acoustic treatment).

What brand/model is your current television? Are you happy with it right now?

You will want to decide whether or not you want to go with an all-in-one A/V Receiver or if you want to go with a separate preamp/processor and amplifier. If you want just your all in one receiver, then I would suggest Onkyo's line-up. Their higher end models, the TX-NR1007, TX-NR3007, or TX-NR5007 are good ones to look at.

For speakers I would suggest going online direct. They will most certainly give you a fantastic bang for the buck than what you can typically buy. SVSound.com has a great line up of speakers. You can look at the entire MTS speaker line or their cheaper speaker solution the S-series. There's other internet direct companies, Axiom Audio, Aperion Audio, AV123, Hsu Research, Emotiva (a great place for amplifiers, too).

For subwoofers I would suggest SVS again. I have always been a fan of their products and their latest subwoofer, the PB13-Ultra or PC-Ultra13, are absolutely fantastic subwoofers.

I'm sure others will have great recommendations for you, but I hope this is a good start.

Most important thing is to do as much research as possible because home theater and sound preferences are a VERY subjective thing!

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-11-10, 06:05 PM
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Re: $10,000 Budget - What Would You Do?

My advice is if you really want a dedicated media room to spend your money on the room first. Don't worry about the gear until you have the room set up the way you want it. You need to consider light control, paint, risers for seating, sound proofing and room treatments before you purchase your gear. Decide if you want a movable subwoofer or if you will install an IB sub and incorporate this into your room design. Decide if you want to see your equipment or if you want it hidden away in a closet. Then after your room is ready decide how much money you have left for equipment.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-11-10, 06:07 PM
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Re: $10,000 Budget - What Would You Do?

I agree with all the speaker companies mentioned, they all offer great products at a good price, and I am also a fan of the Onkyo recievers. On the internet you can find front projections packages that include the projector, mount, screen, and usually an HDMI cable starting around $1100.00 for 720p and $1800.00 for 1080p. I tend to lean towards the LCD projectors not because of better picture quality (both DLP and LCD are great in that respect) but because LCD projectors offer a tremendous amount of placement flexibility that are not matched my DLP projectors and that make them much easier for the DIY person to install. The PS3 is a great blueray player I would not make any changes with it.
You have many options to meet your goals at both levels so I would first pick which budget you want to go with and then start shopping!
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-11-10, 07:12 PM
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Re: $10,000 Budget - What Would You Do?

Welcome to the Shack.

I'd also suggest you get the room, seating and acoustic treatments taken care of first. Then I'd start auditioning speakers. Once a decision is made on them then look at preamp-processor & amp(s) or AV Receiver.
As long as you are happy with the 52" LCD, keep it. I would suggest you consider pre wiring for a projector, just in case you decide you want one later.

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post #6 of 8 Old 01-11-10, 07:52 PM
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Re: $10,000 Budget - What Would You Do?

I think you've already gotten some good advice. I'll throw in some more hoping I'm not making this even more confusing..

I'd post something in the Home Audio Acoustics forum about what kind of treatments would work for your room. After speakers, the room and its acoustics are the biggest parts of your overall system. Everything else is a distant third.

I think getting the room set up makes the most sense as well. Both how you're going to have the seating, what you're going to use for the seating, color, etc. (note: don't have seats directly against the back wall). Once that's been decided, you can move on to the fun stuff.

I'd recommend this for someone who's about to plop a chunk of cash down on some equipment. It will also hopefully help with the auditioning process and steer you away from of the snake oil in this industry.

Based on your budget, I'd stick with a receiver versus a preamp/amp combo. Onkyo is currently the price/performance leader I think. The other two I always recommend are Denon and Yamaha.

Enjoy the process!!
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-12-10, 03:52 PM
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Re: $10,000 Budget - What Would You Do?

NIFLIF, what are the dimensions of your extra bedroom? I definitely agree that acoustics play a massive role in overall sound quality. Then speakers are where my priorities would be. Given this is probably not a gigantic space, it should require less power than a giant room. Your choice of speaker will also have an impact on your amplifier needs as will preferred listening level.

With you having AV Specialists coming out, I recommend you report back what they recommend and their pricing. Each Store will probably be loyal to whatever Brands they carry and negative of those they do not. Things like Motorized Screen Front Projector setups do get costly when you factor in Labor.
As will things like programming custom Remote Controls.

I would definitely put the majority of your budget into speakers and room treatment. Be interested to hear what they recommend to you.

Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
Amplification: Aragon 8008bb, Parasound HCA-3500, Parasound HCA-2205 AT, Parasound HCA-1000a
AVR/SSP: Denon AVR-4520CI
Electronics: OPPO BDP-93
Gaming Consoles: Sony PS4, Xbox 360 S (250 gb)
Display: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60, Sony KDL-55EX500, Sony KD-34XBR910
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-12-10, 04:21 PM
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Re: $10,000 Budget - What Would You Do?

With that kind of budget you may find that having specialists "recommend" alot of over priced gear. There was a day that going with a pre-pro would yeild some better results than just buying an all in one receiver. This has changed in the last two or so years. Companies like Denon, Yamaha and Onkyo have stepped up to the plate and have built some stellar receivers.
You do not need to break the bank either, The Onkyo 876 is a first rate receiver and offers more than enough power for even demanding speakers plus has pre outs for the addition of external amps if so desired. You wont find a pre-pro with as many features as the 876 for anywhere near the price.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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